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johnnyvn

ES330 VOS versus Epiphone Elitist Casino

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Hello all,

 

OK. I bought an ES-330 VOS a couple months back and fell in love. Well, almost. The thing is AMAZING. STAGGERINGLY GOOD. It's just as good as a guitar gets, in my book. Just one problem for me. The neck profile is a bit big for me. I mean, I can play it ok, but it's really too big for my hand.

 

SO, I went out on a search and ended up buying an Epi Elitist Casino. So, now that I have the two, you all can feel free to post any questions you might have in comparing the two.

 

Here are my findings this far.

 

The nut width on the 330 is 1 11/16" and it actually seems ever so slightly larger than that, judging by my two rulers and my two eyes. The nut width on the Casino seems just so slightly under 1 5/8". I've measured each guitars neck in circumferance, and there's about 1/8" difference in total. Amazing how just 1/8" can feel so very different. By the way, the Casino neck is PERFECT for my hand. Or damn, damn near.

 

Unplugged, the nod goes to the Casino in terms of sparkle and brilliance. The 330 is darker in unplugged tone. Maybe it's the sunburst of the 330 vs the natural of the Casino or perhaps the nitro on the 330 is applied a little heavier than the poly on the Casino and keeps the 330 from being a little more sparkly when unplugged?

 

Plugged in, the 330 sounds quite a bit better. The pickups are brighter overall, but more importantly, they have a mid range peak that gives the sound SOOOO much character. Even on the neck pickup, notes are distinct, it's clear and distinct. Sonically, the 330 is simply amazing. When I switch to the Casino, it sounds lifeless by comparison. It's duller sonically, the notes are less distinct, and it just sounds a bit lifeless when compared immediately switching from/to the 330.

 

A few caveats:

 

1) My 330 is sunburst with a Bigsby. The Casino is natural with a trapeze.

 

2) I haven't gotten into measuring pickup pole height to string on either guitar yet, and perhaps that's making a difference.

 

3) I'm going to put a fresh set of strings on the Casino and see if that makes a difference (I bought both of the guitars second hand).

 

4) Obviously, the pickups on the guitars are different (Gibson Underwound P90 on the 330, vs Gibson/Epi P90 on the Casino).

 

5) The bridges look identical to my eyes, even though they shouldn't be.

 

6) The electronics are different (much higher quality and Bumblebee Caps in the 330).

 

Any of your thoughts and/or comments would be welcomed.

 

Thanks!

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Hello all,

 

OK. I bought an ES-330 VOS a couple months back and fell in love. Well, almost. The thing is AMAZING. STAGGERINGLY GOOD. It's just as good as a guitar gets, in my book. Just one problem for me. The neck profile is a bit big for me. I mean, I can play it ok, but it's really too big for my hand.

 

SO, I went out on a search and ended up buying an Epi Elitist Casino. So, now that I have the two, you all can feel free to post any questions you might have in comparing the two.

 

Here are my findings this far.

 

The nut width on the 330 is 1 11/16" and it actually seems ever so slightly larger than that, judging by my two rulers and my two eyes. The nut width on the Casino seems just so slightly under 1 5/8". I've measured each guitars neck in circumferance, and there's about 1/8" difference in total. Amazing how just 1/8" can feel so very different. By the way, the Casino neck is PERFECT for my hand. Or damn, damn near.

 

Unplugged, the nod goes to the Casino in terms of sparkle and brilliance. The 330 is darker in unplugged tone. Maybe it's the sunburst of the 330 vs the natural of the Casino or perhaps the nitro on the 330 is applied a little heavier than the poly on the Casino and keeps the 330 from being a little more sparkly when unplugged?

 

Plugged in, the 330 sounds quite a bit better. The pickups are brighter overall, but more importantly, they have a mid range peak that gives the sound SOOOO much character. Even on the neck pickup, notes are distinct, it's clear and distinct. Sonically, the 330 is simply amazing. When I switch to the Casino, it sounds lifeless by comparison. It's duller sonically, the notes are less distinct, and it just sounds a bit lifeless when compared immediately switching from/to the 330.

 

A few caveats:

 

1) My 330 is sunburst with a Bigsby. The Casino is natural with a trapeze.

 

2) I haven't gotten into measuring pickup pole height to string on either guitar yet, and perhaps that's making a difference.

 

3) I'm going to put a fresh set of strings on the Casino and see if that makes a difference (I bought both of the guitars second hand).

 

4) Obviously, the pickups on the guitars are different (Gibson Underwound P90 on the 330, vs Gibson/Epi P90 on the Casino).

 

5) The bridges look identical to my eyes, even though they shouldn't be.

 

6) The electronics are different (much higher quality and Bumblebee Caps in the 330).

 

Any of your thoughts and/or comments would be welcomed.

 

Thanks!

 

I don't have a 330, but I do have an '06 Epiphone Casino Elite and an '06 Gibson Custom Shop 335.

Switching from the 335 to the Casino, it is anything but dull! notes erupt from the fretboard, and it can be very cutting and bright if I want it to be.

In fact, it is clearer sounding than any other Epiphone Casino or Gibson 330 that I have played - so I'm not sure what is causing yours to sound 'dull'.

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I don't have a 330, but I do have an '06 Epiphone Casino Elite and an '06 Gibson Custom Shop 335.

Switching from the 335 to the Casino, it is anything but dull! notes erupt from the fretboard, and it can be very cutting and bright if I want it to be.

In fact, it is clearer sounding than any other Epiphone Casino or Gibson 330 that I have played - so I'm not sure what is causing yours to sound 'dull'.

 

Pit, I wouldn't actually characterize the Casino as sounding "dull" in and of itself. But when compared with my ES-330 VOS, playing the same thing one right after the other, through the same amp and cable, the 330's amazing tone makes the Casino seem a bit dull by comparison. If I didn't have the 330 here, I doubt I'd be hearing things that way. And again, it could be the difference in pickups, pickup height, strings, bridge, etc. Again, if I were only playing the Elitist, I'd think it was tremendous. But right next to the damned 330, well, the 330 sound is hard to top in my book. So, now I'm on a quest to make the Casino sound as good as the 330, through changing pickups, bridge, electronics, etc.

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Ive had a few Casinos and found them all great playing guitars but to my ears they sound thin in comparison to the ES330 VOS . So its the VOS natural that I have and will keep but to each his own whatever works and inspires you .

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Well, first of all I'd imagine the Bigsby is going to have a significant impact on the unplugged tone of your 330-VOS. Secondly, it's always important to consider that internet comparisons are no substitute for guitars in-hand. But with that said, FWIW:

 

I too have both the Elitist Casino and the 330-VOS (natural with trapeze tailpiece). Both of these instruments were selected while comparing three of the same model side-by-side.

 

The Casino was the best of three I tried, all made in '09, and there were very significant plugged in differences - the other two sounded somewhat dull next to this one. Unplugged, they were quite similar and had a very rich tone.

 

The 2012 330-VOS that came home with me completely overshadowed the other two sampled, and it has a significantly smaller neck profile, which was very important. Of the three sampled, a red one with Bigsby was much quieter unplugged.

 

So I'm relatively confident that I've got a very good Elitist sitting next to a very good 330-VOS. Now when I put the two of these next to each other, the 330-VOS is head & shoulders superior to the Elitist in both plugged and unplugged tone. I find the unplugged tone of this 330 to be particularly remarkable. The Elitist is very good, but the 330 jumps up to a different level.

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Here's a big [thumbup] for the ES330....

 

Obviously Made in US compared to the Oriental Casinos currently available

 

IMO the ES330 has that extra je ne sais quoi and quality akin to it's original brother the Casino both made on the same bench originally..

 

Closest personal Casino experience was playing a friend's MIC low end model...very good VFM with just a few corners cut in electrics/knobs etc

 

Also owning a Peerless Songbird for a while...very well made but not charismatic for moi

 

Great guitars with Beatles/Kinks/Stones/Weller cachet

 

V

 

:-({|=

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Congratulations. You have 2 great Guitars.

 

I have an IBJL Revolution Casino & a 50th Anniv. 1961 Casino w/Tremetone. I also have a 2013 Gibson Memphis ES335. I really like them all.

 

As far as the Casinos I am curious if the Tremetone, similar to the Bigsby on yours, may improve the Tone. The 50th Anniv. has a Tone edge over the Revolution to my ears. Do you think there's anything to that?

 

Thanks,

 

L

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Congratulations. You have 2 great Guitars.

 

I have an IBJL Revolution Casino & a 50th Anniv. 1961 Casino w/Tremetone. I also have a 2013 Gibson Memphis ES335. I really like them all.

 

As far as the Casinos I am curious if the Tremetone, similar to the Bigsby on yours, may improve the Tone. The 50th Anniv. has a Tone edge over the Revolution to my ears. Do you think there's anything to that?

 

Thanks,

 

L

 

Lar, good question...but I don't know...I've never had any experience with Tremetone equipped guitars...

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